Transcend SSD370S review: An excellent upgrade to any hard drive

On top of that, the drive also features real-time full drive encryption with advanced encryption standard (AES). This feature is available only when the drive is used with compatible motherboards, mostly used in business laptops and workstations.

Cost per gigabyte

Pricing is the most important factor for SSDs, and the SSD370S delivers. The drive's two top capacities, the 512GB and 1TB models, are currently priced in the US at just $176 and $360, respectively, or just about 34 cents per gigabyte, currently the lowest on the market. Many other drives touting similar performance (or slightly higher), such as the Samsung 850 Evo, or the SanDisk Extreme Pro costs more than 50 cents per gigabyte.

In all, the Transcend's pricing is one of the most friendly I've seen and there's a good chance that it will go down even further by the end of the year.

SSD cost per gigabye in US dollars

OCZ Vector 180 (240GB)
$0.58
SanDisk Extreme Pro (240GB)
$0.57
Samsung SSD 850 Pro (256GB)
$0.56
Intel SSD 730 (240GB)
$0.55
OCZ Vector 180 (480GB)
$0.53
Plextor M6S (256GB)
$0.52
Samsung SSD 850 Pro (512GB)
$0.50
Transcend SSD370S (128GB)
$0.47
SanDisk Extreme Pro (480GB)
$0.46
Crucial MX200 (250GB)
$0.40
Crucial MX200 (500GB)
$0.40
Transcend SSD370S (256GB)
$0.39
Samsung SSD 850 Evo (250GB)
$0.38
SanDisk Ultra II (240GB)
$0.38
OCZ ARC 100 (240GB)
$0.37
Samsung SSD 850 Evo (500GB)
$0.36
SanDisk Ultra II (480GB)
$0.35
Transcend SSD370S (1TBGB)
$0.35
Transcend SSD370S (512GB)
$0.34
WD Black 2 Dual Drive
$0.12

Note:

Measured in cost per gigabyte based on current prices on Amazon. Shorter bars/lower numbers indicate better value.

Performance

The Transcend SSD370S' performance was a nice surprise. Considering its low cost, I didn't expect much but the drive excelled in most tests.

The SSD370S did best in sequential tests with a sustained write and read speed of 311MBps and 390MBps, respectively, higher than some high-end drives such as the OCZ Vector 180. When both reading and writing at the same time, it averaged 151MBps, a bit lower on the chart but still quite impressive.

CNET Labs SSD data transfer performance

SanDisk Extreme Pro
250.98
450.59
457.46
Samsung SSD 850 Pro
246.25
454.32
448.11
Crucial MX200
190.3
433.49
412.46
Transcend SSD370S
150.69
311.73
390.08
OCZ Vector 180
175.3
347.32
353.67
SanDisk Ultra II
126.49
210.21
319.23
Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme
236.18
269.78
270.8
Transcend SSD720
145.26
230.58
269.55
Intel SSD 730 Series
189.52
265.53
266.84
WD Black 2 Dual Drive
174.65
114.66
228.2
Plextor M6S
155.34
144.78
227.89
Samsung SSD 850 Evo
182.78
114.45
205.63
SanDisk Extreme II
224.27
255.86
203.42
OCZ Vector 150
231.42
265.32
200.46

Legend:

As OS drive (read and write)
As secondary drive (write only)
As secondary drive (read only)

Note:

Measured in megabytes per second.

The drive also did well running PC Mark 8 storage benchmark tests, earning a storage score of 4,927 and the storage bandwidth of more than 210MBps.

PC Mark 8 overall storage performance

Samsung SSD 850 Evo
4,983
276.16
Samsung SSD 850 Pro
4,979
267.32
Crucial MX200
4,968
256.94
SanDisk Extreme Pro
4,957
244.17
Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme
4,948
236.18
Transcend SSD370S
4,927
210.4
SanDisk Ultra II
4,922
208.55
OCZ Vector 180
4,921
204.04
OCZ ACR 100 series
4,948
203.72

Legend:

Storage score
Storage bandwith (MB/s)

Note:

Higher numbers indicate better performance.

The drive's application performance was also quite good, similar to that of most SSDs. This is because for end-users, it's very hard to detect the differences between different SSDs in this category due to the fact that most, if not all, SSDs deliver so much better performance when compared to regular hard drives than compared to one another.

That said, if you haven't used an SSD before, you'll experience a huge change in performance, but if you have, the change will be minimal. Nonetheless, with the SSD370S, it's worth noting that test computer's overall performance was greatly improved compared over when the machine was running a fast hard drive.

PC Mark 8 storage application performance

Samsung SSD 850 Evo
58
133.4
359.2
28.2
9.2
9.2
Crucial MX200
58
133.6
361
28.2
9.2
9.2
Samsung SSD 850 Pro
58.1
133.8
361.8
28.3
9.1
9.2
SanDisk Extreme Pro
58.4
133.9
361.1
28.3
9.2
9.2
Transcend SSD370S
58.6
134.3
363.9
28.4
9.3
9.3
SanDisk Ultra II
58.8
134.6
363.1
28.4
9.3
9.3
OCZ ARC 100 series
58.9
134.7
362.3
28.4
9.4
9.3
OCZ Vector 180
59
134.8
361.2
28.5
9.4
9.4
Standard laptop HDD
138.9
366
565.19
51.7
26.6
27.4

Legend:

World of Warcraft
Battlefield 3
Adobe Photoshop
Microsoft Word
Microsoft Excel
Microsoft PowerPoint

Note:

Measured in seconds. Shorter bars indicate better performance.

At the end of the day, from a performance perspective, upgrading your computer from a standard hard drive to the SSD370S will make a huge difference. But if your computer has already been running an SSD, the only reason you'd want to move to this new SSD would be its greater storage space.

Conclusion

The Transcend SSD370S won me over with its pricing alone. Its excellent performance and extremely high endurance are just gratifying icing on an already tasty cake.

In all, this new SSD has a lot going for it. In fact, other than the comparatively short three-year warranty, there's nothing I can complain about it.

Keep in mind though, this is not the fastest drive on the market in terms of speed and features. If you're looking for a top performance drive with lots of bells and whistles, I'd recommend the Samsung 850 Pro or the SanDisk Extreme Pro. On the other hand, if you just want to boost your (aging) computer's performance, quite significantly, without digging a hole in your wallet, the SSD370S (or the SSD370) is the way to go. Considering its cost, this is easily one of the best deals out there.